Daily Archives: July 16, 2012

Swami Venkatesananda on Consciousness

SWAMI VENKATESANANDA explains the concept of pure consciousness in his commentary on the YOGA VASISHTA

Shiva spoke thus: Consciousness thinks falsely ‘I am happy’. Just as one who is not dead wails aloud ‘Alas, I am dead’, because of perverse understanding, even so consciousness falsely imagines it is miserable and limited. Such imagination is irrational and unfounded. Due to the false assumption of ego sense, consciousness thinks that the world appearance is indeed real. It is the mind alone that is the root cause of experiencing the world as if it were real; but it cannot be truly considered such a cause since
there can be no mind other than pure consciousness. Once you realise that the perceiving mind itself is unreal, it becomes clear that the perceived world is unreal, too.

Even as there is no oil in a rock, in pure consciousness the diversity of sight, seer and scene, or of doer, act and action of knower, knowledge and known does not exist. Similarly, the distinction between ‘i’, and ‘you’ is imaginary. The distinction between the one and the many is verbal. All these do not exist at all even as darkness does not exist in the sun. Opposites like substantially and insubstantiality, void and nonvoid are mere concepts. On enquiry, all these disappear and only unmodified pure consciousness remains.

Significance Of Self-effort
Consciousness does not truly undergo any modification nor does it become impure. The impurity itself is imaginary; imagination is the impurity. When this is realised, the imagination is abandoned and impurity ceases. However, even in those who have realised this, the impurity arises unless the imagination is firmly rejected. By self-effort, this imagination can be easily rejected: if one can drop a piece of straw, one can with equal ease also drop the three worlds! What is it that cannot be achieved by one’s self- effort? Read the rest of this entry

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